The continuation of veteran suicide is imperceptible
The suicide of veterans or members of the army has sparked strong public protests and state-wide legislation in recent years to prevent those serving in the country from ending their lives.
But according to a report by the US Congressional Research Service, many steps and measures are often based on thin and contradictory.
At present, there is no surveillance system for suicides against veterans.
The true incidence of suicide among veterans remains unknown.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) in 2003 to collect data on violent deaths from medical personnel, legal personnel, and toxicology reports.
NVDRS allows to record whether the deceased has served in the U.S. military, but because the person filling out the death report does not always know this information, and only 17 states have joined NVDRS, the promotion of this data result is limited.
In 2005, NVDRS recorded 1821 suicides of members of the military who were active or formerly serving in the military, and the system did not distinguish between the two in detail.
But almost all are men (97%), and 78% are men over 45.
Comparing other data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, death records in some countries, and patient records from veterans ‘offices in order to determine suicide, but American veterans who can only be canceled received health care from veterans’ offices.This limits the use of this method.
A 2007 study by Morgan University scholars found that 1 683 of the 807,694 people who were treated for depression from 1999 to 2004 committed suicide, or 88 per year.
25 / 100,000 people commit suicide.
This ratio is higher in the general population, but similar to that in depression.
Comparing suicide rates between veterans and the general population presents other problems.
First, suicide information for the general population includes veteran information.
Second, there is no record of the deaths of veterans who have withdrawn from the army’s health system and who have not participated in the care of veterans who participated in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan.
In addition, some dangerous behaviors that occurred within the army, such as dangerous driving, drug abuse, or severe alcohol abuse may not have previously been considered a risk factor for suicide and were not recorded in the death record.
The defense and veterans affairs departments have gradually taken steps to screen for suicide risk factors for troops and veterans.
The Army Health Policy sanctions monitoring of soldiers returning from Iraq, Afghanistan or other wars.
The Veterans Affairs Administration has established a “Suicide Day”, in which suicide intervention personnel and staff of substance abuse and mental health services are invited to conduct a 24-hour suicide intervention hotline, and two research centers have been established to study suicide and its risk factors.
However, the current goals set by the Veterans Mental Health Strategy Center in 2004 are still in the pilot phase, or only part of it.
Other better studies are more useful than comparing veteran suicide with suicide in the general population.
Understanding veterans’ suicide requires understanding changes in data, risk and protective factors, and treatment outcomes, all of which require repeated use and time of intervention.